WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's basketball team shot a scintillating 56-percent from the field and erupted for a season-high point total as the Firebirds scorched East Coast Conference foe New York Institute of Technology, 108-89 at the UDC Sports Complex Saturday afternoon.
The Firebirds (12-10, 9-5 ECC) led wire-to-wire as senior guard Joseph Nickerson connected on his first three attempts of the game from long range – all assisted by senior point guard Kasim Chandler – and UDC raced out to a 13-2 lead and never looked back. The hosts shot 63-percent (20-of-32) from the field and sank 15-of-18 at the foul line en-route to a 60-33 halftime lead. They would lead by as many as 28 in both halves, and ultimately win comfortably by a 19-point margin to complete the season sweep of their ECC foe.
Nickerson, who was coming off what was previously a career-high 35-point scoring effort last Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas, finished today's game with a new career high of 37 points – marking the 4th time in his career he has scored over 30 points in a game. Also, Nickerson entered the game ranked No. 2 in the nation for steals per-game (3.0), and today he tied his career-high with six thefts while also hauling in a team-best nine rebounds and handing out two assists.
Nickerson's counterpart on offense was Chandler, who scored 31 points on 10-of-14 FG shooting and 9-of-10 FT shooting, and contributed five rebounds, four assists and one steal. On defense, it was junior guard Khalil Jackson, who swatted away a season-high tying six shots today to go with seven points, six rebounds and four assists. Jackson now has 10 multiple-block games this season, including three of five or more.
As a team, UDC out-shot NYIT for the complete game, 56-percent (35-of-63) to 44-percent (34-of-77) from the field, 47-percent (8-of-17) to 30-percent (7-of-23) from three-point range, and 86-percent (30-of-35) to 64-percent (14-of-22) at the foul line. (This marked the 3rd game this season the Firebirds have made 30 or more free-throws)
NYIT (6-17, 4-11 ECC), which dropped its sixth straight game, had four of its starting five score in double-figures. Guard Jeffrey Hayden delivered a team-high 23 points while the nation's leader in rebounding and double-doubles, John Feiler, recorded 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Next up, the Firebirds will visit league foe LIU Post on Wednesday, February 15th at 7 p.m.